The Dancing Nancys

A few weeks ago, I had the agony pleasure of attending a teacher conference.

Both of the speakers were named Nancy.

The name Nancy is not too common these days.  It is one of those names that was huge (according to my mom, Crazy Pat) in the 60s and fizzled shortly thereafter.

I have a friend whose mother AND mother-in-law are both named Nancy.  This is almost as rare as finding a 100 bill in an old purse.  Yeah, it barely ever happens (although I feel like searching in vain through all of my old purses!)

The two Nancys, or as I referred to them, Nancy Squared or the Dancing Nancys, both took turns going through the PowerPoint presentation.  They also both color coordinated their outfits. I have not seen too many royal blue printed dresses, but amazingly enough, they each had one on.  Matching Nancys!

Nancy #1 was the rule keeper.  She informed us of special “norms” she expected from us throughout the two-day conference.  She specifically stated that we were to put away our computers, smart phones and iPads, and were not to use them under any circumstances unless it was break time.  As she was sternly giving stating this ridiculous important rule, everyone was packing their laptops, iPads and phones guiltily away.  Funny thing about Rules Nancy, she constantly broke this rule.  Each and every time the other Nancy took over presenting, Rules Nancy would get on her iPad and iPhone.  Hmmm.  Gotta love some irony!

Another interesting thing I learned from Super Rule Breaker Nancy was a phrase called “Equity of Voice.”  Unbeknownst to me, this is a very important norm to help motivate those who don’t participate to participate and motivate those, like me, who participate too often, to shut the heck up.  Who knew this even had a name!  Sadly, the very prestigious sounding “Equity of Voice” did not prompt the quiet ones to speak up, nor did it stop the ones who continually add to the discussion.  So much so that when the Nancys were having trouble getting anyone to raise their hands and share (hey, I felt scolded into refraining from using my Equity of Very Chatty Voice), they would shoot over a death stare to my table for a response.

Sharpies. One of the workshop highlights .

Nancy #2 was a fast speaker who didn’t read directly from the slides, thank goodness.  She was intent on getting the information to us so we could break into groups and write on sticky-note-like poster boards with primary colored markers.  Fast Talking Nancy also had a stray piece of hair that kept migrating to her lips.  Why did I notice this? Because, she had to keep pulling it off of her lipstick.  I began to take a tally.  The totals: Hair in lipstick – 38, Fast Talking Nancy Lipstickhair – zero.  Poor Nancy #2.  Oh wait, scratch that.         Do not feel sorry for Nancy #2 and her lipstick saturated hair.  She started reading directly from the power point slides.  Epic power point fail. Ugh.

Coffee. The gets-me-through-everything elixir.

After awhile, I became frisky.  I decided that I would not, under any circumstances, look for a clock in the room.  I made it an hour and seven minutes before my eyes deceived me and scoped it out.  9:37.  How would I survive not one, but two days of bone-crushing boredom, silly rules and the crazy, dancing, matchy-matching, Power-point reading Nancys?  Maybe by sneaking quick, longing looks at my iPad?

I survived by writing about the Nancys, drinking waaaay too much coffee and daydreaming about finding a twenty in an old purse.

TGIF!

Digital Hoarder

I think I may be a hoarder.  A digital hoarder.

At first I thought I might be turning into a real hoarder – of stupid stuff.  I was cleaning out the unfinished side of our basement and found many random things.  The difference is that I really don’t give a crap about most of this odd assortment of basement junk – I just want to rid it from my house.  I have a post drafted about these items, almost as a farewell send off as they go on their merry adventure to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.  But, these items are nothing compared to the digital “stuff” I have.

The truth of the matter is I hoard all things technology including, but not limited to, digital photos, data CDs, data DVDs and relics of different, more gentle, technology time period.

Digital Photos:  It doesn’t matter if it is a good picture, but if someone takes a digital photo of my child, I want the photo. Even if it is God awful garbage, I want it.  I feel like I need it.  It is my right, right?  If I take the boys to have their pictures taken, like maybe to Sears Portrait Studio, I buy the CD.  I never do a gosh-darn thing with it, but I have to have it.  I don’t know why I am so neurotic about this, but I am.  In fact, I almost start perspiring when I think they are going to toss it in the trash if I don’t buy it.  I need that digital photo DVD, CD or jpg.  I need it like a cop needs donuts, or like I need coffee before I start a day of teaching.

OK, maybe it is 27,000. Help!

Sadly, my digital photo hoarding problem is growing.  Currently, I have over 26,000 digital photos in iPhoto on my laptop.  I can’t delete them.  I back them up regularly, but for some odd reason, I don’t delete them out of iPhoto completely.  What if I need the picture of the martini from the lake house taken in 2007?  What if I want to post the picture of our neighbor’s daughter’s wedding bouquet from 2004 because I thought it was pretty? What if I need that photo of The Captain giving me the stink eye while doing yard work circa 2002?  I may need these pictures!  I can’t be impulsive and get rid of them.  Why?  Because I love them.  I need them.  I also may need an intervention soon.  But, hey, there is always a bright side to this psychoses!  My tech guys at school have learned a lot about iPhoto through me, mainly the fact that iPhoto actually can handle over 25,000 photos brilliantly.  Yep, I help with research through my digital photo hoarding.  I rock – digitally, that is.

Little Byte in all of her splendor.

I also hoard digital technology of yesteryear.  I have my original Apple computer.  My dad bought it for me in 1990.  It still turns on.  The monitor is black and white and does not have any internet connection.  I still think it is cute (not sure why) and I absolutely can’t get rid of it (because it is a part of me – like the need to order cheesecake in decent restaurants).           I found some of my college essays on my vintage Apple.  Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to get them off of the computer.  Bummer.  Anyone have a dot matrix printer with a gigantic cable to loan me?  Maybe then I can get the files off of the classic Apple, which I lovingly refer to as Little Byte.  Get it?  It’s little and has some bytes in it!  Little Byte?!  Clever?  Yes, for 1990.

What to do with the Palm Pilots of days gone by.  I remember strutting into my classroom my first year teaching with my Palm.  I thought I was a rock star who was going to forever change the face of education with the stroke of a stylus.  I think I may have carried it around for two weeks, and then found it again the last day of school when cleaning out my laptop case.  Move over, Palm.  Move right into my basement – the digital hoarding zone.

Lastly, I have floppy disks, Zip disks, hard disks, hard drives, DVDs and CDs full of I don’t know what.  I backed up before backing up was cool.  Problem is, in the wake of backing up, now there are almost zero ways to access the information (unless it is a DVD, CD or portable hard drive).  Plus, in my constant frenzy to back up things, I have back ups on back ups.  Looking through one of my external hard drives yesterday, I found I backed up the same folder of English 9 lessons SEVEN times.  The SAME folder.   Maybe I have a back up hoarding issue, too.

Crap.  The Captain just took a picture of Squishy and String Bean with his iPhone.  I sure hope he emails it to me…  What?  It was cute, OK?  Lol!  But seriously, he better. I need that digital picture.  Now.  😉

I got it! Relief. 27,001 and counting...

An Exercise in Patience

I am the resident techie in our home.  I am the one who does all things like set the time on the DVD player to updating all of the computers.  I am the girl who makes sure that our stuff works — and texts/emails my handy-dandy, amazing tech guy at school if it doesn’t.  Word has spread about me throughout my family.  Now, I must say that my brother is the real tech guru in our family.  He is a genuine computer science engineer and his home computer system is something that Bill Gates himself would admire.  Unfortunately, we live two hours from each other, and I only live ten minutes from our mom, Crazy Pat.  When she needs tech help, who’s she gonna call?  Oh yeah, that would be me.

The Captain (my husband) and I live less than five minutes from his mother.  She keeps her baby ducklings close by and even The Captain’s brother, Coach, lives less than a mile from us.  We are little ducks all together, and I am the resident techie for his side of the family.  When they need help, who are they gonna call?  Oh yeah, that would be me.

The two moms, Crazy Pat and Salt, both got iPads for Christmas.  I can say that I very much helped in the matter.  I was there when Crazy Pat clicked the button and ordered hers (she bought it for herself for the holiday), and I orchestrated Salt’s iPad (her computer crashed and she needed something easier to use).  The Captain warned me that this iPad frenzy may not be a good idea.  He was concerned that they would call me day and night for help.  I assured him that the iPad was easy peasy lemon squeasy and there would be no way they could fail at handling it. The Captain grinned like The Grinch and turned back to organizing the mail on the counter.

All was well with the moms.  Happy was I because this was an area that I could really help them both on.  I happily set up their emails, wireless connections and Apple IDs.  I happily downloaded apps on their iPads that I knew they would love.  I happily put Salt’s favorite game Free Cell on her’s, and happily uploaded the Oprah magazine for CP’s (Crazy Pat’s). I even put App Start on each of their new toys so they could learn more about them on their own time.

Being proactive, and to show the naysayer The Captain that it was a great idea for the moms to have this technology, I scheduled an “instructional” day for both to sit down with me and learn the basics of the iPad.  I was excited.  I was ready to share my favorite things about the iPad with them.  Strangely, they both cancelled.  Salt had to go to my nephew’s basketball game and CP was headed to something having to do with the theater.  The Captain grinned and said, “I told you so.”  I glared at him and pretended I didn’t hear his less than subtle comment.  But, alas, he was right.  Again.

I tried to reschedule the meeting.  Crazy Pat actually stopped and met me at our local coffee shop.  She said she had only 30 minutes, so I needed to tell her everything in that time.  She laughed and giggled and asked all about my latte and basically did not hear/understand/listen to a thing I was saying.  Then she told me that I needed some foundation for the circles under my eyes and some blush to enhance my features, and I looked at my watch and said her 30 minutes was up.

After that episode, Salt started calling.  She can’t get her email working.  She can’t remember her password.  She doesn’t know why the free cell won’t open. When I asked her how long these things were going on, she replied that it had been over a week.  A week!  I asked why she waited to call me, and she said she didn’t want to bother me, but she was about ready to throw the “thing” out the window.  I begged her not to do that, and jumped in the car – in my pjs – and got her up and running again.

I must say, despite The Captain’s sarcasm, I am pleased that these two women would take the leap and use this technology.  I am proud of both of them.  I do know that I am the one who needs to take a deep breath and continue to lead them on this new adventure.  And have a little patience, too.

Patience, yeah yeah, a little patience.

I’m Honking About It

“I’m honking about it” was one of the more recent auto-corrects from my iPhone.  It was actually in response to a text about trying out for a certain musical and now my friend may think I have lost my mind.  Or that I am driving through my small town laying on my horn.  Or that I am tapping lightly on my horn like when I don’t want to be rude to the person in front of me, but the light has changed to green. Or that I am considering changing to Aflac.  Honk.

Today, my lovely auto-correct fixed my message to my husband (aka The Captain) who is currently at the theater while I am honking all over Northeast Ohio.  My text to him was originally supposed to be this: “I will take care of dinner.  I love you.”  But turned out like this: “I will take car to diner.  I live you.”  Usually, I am pretty good at proofreading texts before sending, but this was the one that got away.  His reply was a simple “?”.  I feel like a simple “?” also.

On another note, The Captain is very new to texting.  He does not like to use any emoticans or any texting shortcuts like brb, lol or ttyl.  In fact, I did text him a very un-classy “fml” once when I crashed my mommy hauler mini-van into another car, and he did not respond.  Later, he told me that he had to ask around what it meant and one very kind friend of ours told him (politely) that it was “f*%$ my life.”  He then texted me and asked my why I would text him something so awful.  I told him because I was angry about the van.  He texted back, “You have a good life.  Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”  I texted back a sad face – :(.  I didn’t get a reply.

A few weeks ago, mind you he has had a new iPhone since September, I texted him a little funny story about the sticker that I wore on my shirt for the entire day (one that has the size of the shirt on it, and no one was kind enough to tell me about it until the end of the day).  Yeah, how cool is that?!  After it, I put the usual “Lol.”  He texted me back stating he didn’t understand why I put lol on the text.  He said I was not using it in the right context.  I texted back “???” and he called me.

Laugh out loud or lots of love?

Captain: Allison, why are you texting LOL after a funny story?

Me:  Hmm, because it was a funny story.

Captain:  That is just plain weird.  These texting shortcuts have to stop.

Me: It was a good thing to text after my shirt fiasco.  I thought you would think it is was funny.  What is the issue?

Captain:  The issue is that LOL means Lots of Love, so I don’t recall what that has to do with a size sticker on the front of your shirt.

Me:  What?

Captain:  It means lots of love, right?

Me:  It means Laugh out Loud.  Seriously?  You thought it meant lots of love? Awww, that is really sweet, but, seriously, it means laugh out loud.

Captain:  Ugh.  Texting is so annoying.  But, now that you mention it, that does makes sense.  I wondered why my friends kept putting it on their texts.  I thought it was strange.

Me:  (ROTFL) OK. (Giggling) I will be home soon.

The latest series of texting snaffoos goes like this:

Captain:  What do you want for dinner?

Me:  idk

Captain:  What do you mean you don’t care?  By the way, care starts with a “c” not a “k.”

Me:  IDK means I don’t know.

Captain:  Oh.  OK.

I think from now on I am just going to let him think what he wants to think about the texting shortcuts.  Maybe I will even tell him that in certain contexts fml means “for my love.”  Or, maybe not.  Idk.  But at least, every time I think (or honk) about it, I am ROTFL.

A book I got my husband for Christmas. It is hilarious!

The Borders Bummer and BAM

Like many folks, I love to read.  Reading is my special time when I zone everyone out and dive completely and relentlessly into the pages of a book.  I used to also zone everyone out and dive completely and relentlessly into Borders book store, but now they are no more.

I miss Borders.  It was that place to stop after having wine and dinner with friends to go and peruse novels because we didn’t want to go home quite yet.  It was that haven for awkward teens to hang out close to midnight and get the first copies of Harry Potter and Twilight new releases.  I have to admit that I found myself with them on a few occasions (although I had dinner and wine with bffs beforehand – thank goodness) to get these hardback reads.  I miss Borders.

Sometimes, I would just go to Borders alone and look at books that I would never intend to buy – such as cookbooks or the art of paper mache.  I looked at the bright pictures in the coffee table books, glanced through the sports biographies and always ended up in the literature section.  It was almost a freeing experience.  I was a bird, flying through a magical maze of typed paper trees.  Ah – happiness.  I didn’t even have to buy anything (but I always did).  I could just browse in a quiet, welcoming environment and even sip on an expresso if I was in the mood.  I miss Borders.

This past summer, I refused to believe the rumors about the progressing end of Borders.  It wasn’t until a friend suggested we meet there and look at the discounted books that it hit me.  Borders was leaving and there was nothing I could do about.  My heart ached.  My teeth chattered.  My eyes got teary.  I felt like weeping.  It was the end of an era for me.  Darn the Nook.  Darn the Kindle.  Darn the iPad.  Darn Amazon.com.  (I must be honest, though, I have a Kindle, iPad and Amazon Prime).  So, darn me.

Border’s in our area was replaced by Books a Million, or BAM for short.  The only time I want to hear BAM is from Emeril, not a bookstore.  As I walked through this Borders wannabe, I felt my skin crawl.  I couldn’t understand the price stickers, and I couldn’t find a helpful employee to explain them to me.  Basically, I couldn’t buy anything.  Nada.  That has never happened to me before.  I actually walked out without a nugget of a book.  Not even a pen or a playful notebook.  Zero, zilch, zip.  Nothing. Darn.

So, Borders, just know that even though you are gone, you are still missed by me.  I will click around on Amazon, but it is not the same.  I will download books on my Kindle, but I will forever miss your reading recommendations and staff favorites.  Now, I will pursue book suggestions from blogs and Amazon.  I will join the 21st century.  Darn.  And bam.

Looks like Borders, but it is not. Sniff sniff.

Jazz hands, Go-go boots and a State of Memory Loss

There are some days when I am many people. Today is one of those days.

This morning I was a mom. I fixed lunches, got backpacks ready, made coffee (for me!) and put clothes out for my dudes to wear to school.  I forgot to take the coffee with me.

This morning (and until 2:30) I was a teacher. I stopped at the local donut shop (and, if I must say, the best donut shop this side of the Mason-Dixon line) to pick up two dozen scrumptious and oh so healthy treats for my first period class. I gave three exams today, graded countless essays, backed up my Mac, complimented many students on end of semester projects and edited two exams to give tomorrow.  I also spent over 30 minutes trying to find my car keys so I could leave the building.

This afternoon I was a choreographer. I made up an audition combination in the car while driving from my district to my husband’s.  I put the jazz hands, jazz squares and grapevine steps together along with other tried and true audition moves for the next musical I will be choreographing. I taught over 60  teens the combination – still in my work clothes – with enthusiasm and energy that I wasn’t aware I had.  I was so into it that I left my phone in the auditorium.

This evening, I am tired. I can’t remember anything that I had planned to accomplish tonight. I am aggravated about my phone and all I can think about are jazz hands and Go-go boots. Plus, I keep remembering the look of anticipation, nervousness and desperation on those kid’s faces. I was once in their shoes, so I hope the director will cast the show with care. If he doesn’t, I may put my foot down.  After all, I am the show’s choreographer and he is my husband.  This is our 10th year of working together on shows. But the funny stuff that goes along with a husband/wife team (think opposites – I am the goofy one, he is the serious one, or I am good cop, he is bad cop) will have to be for another post.  I can’t seem to remember the stories right now.  All I know is that I complained enough about the phone so he went back and brought it home.  What a nice director.  Jazz hands.

Where, oh where, did my iPhone go?

My Own Chocolate War

Quite a few years ago, I taught the novel entitled The Chocolate War.  From the title, one may feel that it is a Willy Wonka romp through a magical land of chocolate with some prevailing conflict that can be solved by – you guessed it – chocolate.  And maybe even the Oompa-Loompas go on strike and are protesting by stopping their tireless production of chocolate, or the chocolate waterfall stops flowing and Charlie has to find out who of the original group sabotaged it.  However, that is not the case.  The novel is about a chocolate selling fundraiser, which is the hell I am dealing with at school.

Fundraisers are hard.  Schools don’t have money to buy things and even, sometimes, replace technology.  I teach a broadcasting class that airs announcements every day over our own cable channel.  This year, we have lost five video cameras.  Not physically lost, just dead soldiers who proudly served for five plus years each and every day of the school year.  Cameras are not cheap, and video cameras run around 300 clams each.  Hence the fundraiser.

What is one not-so-fundraising-creative teacher turn to?  Why, chocolate, of course.  It is not a difficult fundraiser, even though it is completely time consuming and the chocolate is always around.  This is the bad part.  I have zero willpower when it comes to chocolate.  As I said, it is always around and I see it, smell it and basically figure out ways to justify/rationalize devouring it.  Skipped breakfast?  Why not have some Buckeyes.  Afternoon snack as a reward for grading freshman essays?  Why not try a London Mint bar.  Stopping at the post office after school?  Well, you get the drift.

This time, I have 50 cases.  Each case has 48 bars.  That is a total of 2400 chocolate bars.  I could build a chocolate mountain with all of it. I could surprise my friends with a two-story chocolate fountain.  I could be the envy of my neighborhood when I don my new chocolate winter apparel.  But, I digress. In all honesty, I would love to find another fundraiser – one that is not going to cause me to gain ten pounds each year.  Any suggestions?  Well, while I am waiting, I guess I will just have to Willy Wonka it and get busy.  I have some chocolate to peddle/smell/buy/eat/enjoy.  But first, I may have to have a little, bitty bite.  And then hit the treadmill.  For days.

A quest to stop the insanity.

A vice or the grip of reality

I am going to have to go total cliche in this post.  My favorite blogger, Brainvomit40, decided she is going to write on her blog about defending her vice.  And I thought, what is my vice?  Then I thought, what the hell is the definition of a vice?  I know what it kind of means but I couldn’t really explain it.  So, I turned to Dictionary. com (insert cliche here!) and did what all of my students do when they open a persuasive paper: write the definition.  Here goes:

According to dictionary.com, the super fast website that is a crutch to many a young person, the definition for vice is as follows:  1. an immoral or evil habit or practice. 2. immoral conduct; depraved or degrading behavior: a life of vice. 3. sexual immorality, especially prostitution. Synonyms: wantonness *hilarious word – * 4. a particular form of depravity. 5. a fault, defect, or shortcoming: a minor vice in his literary style.

Did you get all that?  Well, I just don’t know if I actually have anything today that counts as #1 – an immoral or evil habit unless you count the countless hours I have spent playing Plants vs. Zombies.  For #2 – immoral conduct or degrading behavior – I think I cursed a few times at the dude driving 35 in a 55 on my way to school today, but I didn’t give him the finger or anything so that doesn’t count. Next is #3 which is sexual immorality or prostitution which I can safely say I would probably only run for about $25 bucks and that is just not worth it.  I am going to skip #4 because I would have to go back to dictionary.com to find the definition for depravity.  And last, but probably the most fitting for me in the vice category, is fault, defect or shortcoming.  Let’s just stop there and say yes to all in the glorious #5.

Side note here:  Students would have never made it to #5.

I guess, when looking at #5, I have a few (quite a lot, actually) vices, and/or faults.  One is that I get easily distracted.  For example, I really like talking to people.  Case in point:  a few weeks ago we had parent/teacher conferences.  I like to refer to them as conferences that parents don’t really care about because their kid is almost out of high school and they should be responsible for themselves so we don’t need to go conferences.  I had a little time on my hands for the lack of parent participation, and I started to get down to grading projects, papers and everything else on my desk.  Within ten minutes, I had two visitors and decided I needed to visit someone else and tell them what the other visitors and I had discussed.  I ended up using a lot of my time just communicating.  Let’s just say that I successfully solved the world’s problems but ended up taking all of the grading home because I didn’t finish it.

Another is reading. I love to read books and I love my Kindle.  Reading is good, but it can be bad when I tune everything – phone, conversations, stove-top timers – out when I read.  For some reason I plant myself into the book and stay there.  I remember being in high school and my mom would have to physically get my attention by touching my shoulder while I was reading.  Of course, when I got older and got married, my mom forgot to mention this to my husband.  Needless to say, he gets incredibly frustrated with my “reading zone-out” times.  And is is a lot of times – whether I am in my beloved Kindle or just reading something on the iPad or my MacBook Pro or my iMac or my iPhone or just checking Facebook. (Another vice: I love technology toys. Could you tell?!)

As I am writing this, more and more vices are starting to pop in my head.  The idontcookprocrastinatorvideogameplayingcursingwinedrinkingshoppingpicturetakingtimewastingandmore are starting to fester in my brain making me want to get post this blog and clean out my purse in order to procrastinate going to the craft store or grading the latest round of papers.  Suffice to say, we all have vices.  Hopefully not the #3 ones, but some more healthy ones.  But, instead of worrying about them,  I am just going to smile, click on dictionary.com and check out the word of the day.  Which is pansophy.  What, you don’t know that one?  Well, just look it up already.  Geez.

Chain letters of the future

In 2009, when Facebook was very new to me, everyone submitted these “notes” that reminded me of chain letters from yesteryear.  Chain letters are to the 80s and early 90s as “please forward or you will have bad luck forever” emails are to the 2000s. 

So, I felt obligated (forced) to fill this out and then post it on Facebook to enlighten (appease) the friends that I had found again.

25 Random Things About Me…

1. I was born in New Orleans and took many trips there during college! 😉

2. I have lived in many states: LA, TX, MO, NJ, AL, OH

3. My mom actually fixed me up with my husband. “Al, I think you should stop by the theatre and meet this good looking guy in my cast. He just moved back to the area…”

4. Sometimes when I am quoting other people (like in #3), I use South Park voices for them. (Sorry, Mom!)

5. My brother-in-law (my husband’s brother) is a head football coach! And on the flip side –

6. My husband is the theatre director at the high school where he teaches!

7. I love the beaches of North Carolina and am a particular fan of Duck, NC.

8. I have a minivan. I know, no glamour, but it is cool, leather seats, DVD, loaded! The kids love it (and it drives nice – Go Honda!)

9. I am addicted to Macs. I love Mac. I love iLife. I love all things Mac. Mac, Mac, Mac.

10. On my sweet Mac (thank you glorious SV Tech guys) I have 13, 884 photos. I try to organize by month. Did I mention that I am addicted to digital photography? (As of today, two years later, I have over 25,000 pictures in iPhoto. Yikes.)

11. My husband does the majority of the cooking and cleaning. He is so much better at cooking than I am or ever will be!

12. There is one thing I can cook well. I am the pancake flipping queen. We have a Saturday morning pancake tradition, and I have only lost one pancake to the floor (but the dog was happy!)

13. I usually hate going to the grocery store, but in the summer when I am out of school, I love going. I hear it calling me – Giant Eagle Fuel Perks!

14. When I was working in Public Relations, I received an evaluation that stated in the weaknesses section: “Entirely too enthusiastic.” I now have that statement engraved on my iPod.

15. I love superhero movies. I love them. I love all of them such as Batman, Fantastic Four, Superman, X-Men, but most of all, Spiderman. “With great power comes great responsibility.” What an awesome motto for our USA, don’t cha think?!

16. I would choose red wine over dessert any day.

17. This past November, I became a National Board Certified Teacher! Hooray!

18. I have been a fan of the show ER since it started, and I will cry when it ends this year.  (I miss ER.  Forget Grey’s, I want me some ER.)

19. I love Sharpie markers and colorful Post-it notes.

20. We used to own a Victorian home. (Did anyone see the film “The Money Pit”? Yeah, well I lived it.)

21. I like cheese.  A lot.

22. I am secretly addicted to “The Bachelor” and wish I knew of someone to nominate to be on the show because I would write them one heck of a recommendation letter!

23. I named our son Luke not just because it is Biblical, but more because of Star Wars. May the Force be with all of you!

24. I love pets, but I am allergic to most of them.

25. I secretly listen to Duran Duran when no one is home. 

Ring my bell

Made you look!  Nothing too crazy in this post, I can guarantee.  I just can’t get the 1979 disco song out of my head.  It makes me want to sing it REALLY loudly and annoy all of those around me.  So, just three short hours ago, I busted into this song as we all were working Squishy’s homework.  Ring my bell, my bell, ring my bell.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that bells rule my life.  As a student, it was the bell that beckons one from class to class.  As a teacher, it begins again, although chatting with friends in between bells (or classes) is rarer and more precious.

I feel ruled by the bell, not saved by the bell.  A bell/alarm wakes me up, a bell signals me that I should be at school – which is ironic because students are not even in the building at that shiny morning time of 7 a.m.  A bell lets me know that is is OK to make copies, try to go potty and even just sit down at my desk.  The bell rules my life.  This year, there is not a bell after lunch.  In fact, there is only a late bell.  It kills me.  Why?  Because I am so conditioned by the bell to be in my classroom on time.  Ring me Pavlov, please.

This afternoon, before breaking into song and really making my husband crazy, I figured out that my iPhone has a bell-like signal when I receive a text (duh) AND, here is the important thing, when I SEND one.  The receiving texts signal is a no brainer, but the sending one, now that is new.  Sad thing is that I have had this phone for over six weeks and just now heard it.  Maybe the bell is not loud enough. Who knows.  Maybe I just need a mind-piercing school bell.  Ha.

When I was in the corporate world, many moons ago, I remember reading an article in the paper (the real one, not the online one – lol!) that business people were so distracted by bells and whistles such as alerts, email notifications, and the like that they were off task after they heard the sounds.  The article stated to try and NOT be ruled by the sounds of modern technology. This was 1996.  I wonder what the article would have said if it knew of the future that held thousands of bell tones, text notifications alerts and email zip sounds and the fact that I just noticed I had a sending text sound on my super dee duper iPhone.

Maybe I need a bell at night to signal me that it is time to go to bed or stop writing this silly post.  Ring my bell.